Fuzzy math: 30 broadcasters and 346 stations create Mobile500 Alliance

While it's been whispered (in that nasty mocking fashion that whispers can attain) that broadcasters have a hard time counting beyond three (ABC, CBS, NBC), the most recent math coming from the over-the-air crowd is pretty incomprehensible.

Thirty (30) broadcasting companies representing 346 full power stations in 167 markets have set up the Mobile500 Alliance. While none of those numbers add up to 500, the concept itself adds up to a sensible push on the part of the over-the-air crowd to embrace new markets. The Mobile500 Alliance wants to reinforce the efforts of the Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC) so that broadcasting can develop and sustain a viable mobile TV model and can work more closely with both content providers and those who make the receiving smartphones.

That makes sense because mobile TV would use spectrum that the broadcasters have and the FCC wants to redistribute to wireless players as part of a national broadband plan. If broadcasters hold onto the spectrum, the cable industry comes out ahead. Should broadcasters lose that spectrum, the industry would be faced with providing space for a lot more over-the-air signals (DTV multiplexes, among others) and potentially even more rancorous retransmission fights.

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